Which Fashion Crime Are You Guilty of? Tiny Shorts, VPLs and Muffin Tops Named Summer's Biggest Style Disasters by Fits.me

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Six out of seven women admit to making a fashion faux pas.

84% of women admit to making fashion faux pas, a new survey by virtual fitting room company Fits.me reveals. The visible panty line (40% of women) tops the list of crimes against fashion, while muffin tops (33%) and the TOWIE-like showing of too much cleavage (32%) are also common sartorial sins.

Men are just as guilty: a quarter of men under 35 have fallen victim to wearing their trousers too high, the outfit offence that Simon Cowell made infamous, and over a fifth of men admit to wearing garments with inadequate sleeve lengths.

Britons abroad are well known for their taste transgressions, and it seems our reputation is well-earned: one in 10 women have worn bikinis that are too small, while a third of women admit to wearing skirts that are too short. This summer’s trend of denim shorts is only adding to the problem: a quarter of 18-24 year olds admit to wearing Rihanna-esque shorts that don’t cover their bum.

The perennial summer howler of wearing socks with sandals a still a common sight – a tradition manfully maintained by almost a fifth of Welshmen – and on the beach, one in five of 35-55 year old men admit to channeling their inner Tom Daley by wearing budgie-smugglers.

London may be one of the fashion capitals of the world, but its experimental nature leads Greater Londoners to commit more fashion felonies than any other region: London is top for no fewer than four out of twelve wardrobe wrongdoings for women, and for five out of eight categories for men.

Worst offenders: Women
Muffin tops - Northeast England: 52%
Onesies - Northeast England: 24%
VPL - Greater London: 49%
Shorts that don’t cover your bum - Greater London: 11%
Too much cleavage on show - Wales: 43%
Socks with sandals - Wales: 19%
Bikinis that are too small - Wales: 17%
A skirt that’s too short - Northwest England: 41%
Ankle swinging trousers - Northern Ireland: 44%
Leggings worn as trousers - Northern Ireland: 31%

Worst offenders: Men
Socks with sandals - Southwest England: 34%
Ankle-swinging trousers - Greater London: 30%
Trousers worn too high - Greater London: 17%
Low-slung trousers, showing underwear - Greater London: 15%
Budgie-smugglers - Greater London and Scotland: 24%
Onesies - Wales: 8%

Heikki Haldre, chief executive and co-founder at virtual fitting room provider Fits.me commented: “Fashion is not responsible for fashion faux pas: the problem is that we all-too-frequently choose clothes that don’t fit our body size or shape. Three-quarters of all the fashion mistakes that women make are actually related to how well their clothes fit, and two-thirds of men’s mistakes too.

“But there could be an explanation: 36% of shoppers recently told us that they use in-store fitting rooms less than they did just three years ago. We’re also a self-conscious nation, with 18% of consumers saying they dislike leaving their cubicle in order to see themselves in a public, full-length mirror. And we are buying more clothes online where it’s often not even possible to ‘try before you buy’. All told, fashion faux pas could become more common in the future.

“But the fitting room is a marvelously effective sales tool that has been around for 130 years or more. Perhaps retailers need to put more effort, online and offline, into making the trying-on of clothes a pleasurable part of the shopping experience again?”

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About the research
Fits.me surveyed 2,000 people in the UK on the fashion crimes that they’ve committed. 1,000 men and 1,000 women took part in this survey. The data was collected by Redshift Research in July 2013.

The data about the use of fittings rooms comes from a separate survey of 1,000 UK consumers on their shopping habits. The data was collected by Redshift Research in September 2012.

About Fits.me
Fits.me’s virtual fitting room solutions helps boost the revenues and the profitability of online clothing retailers by enabling them to overcome the online fit problem, increasing conversions and reducing garment returns. Clients include Adidas, Avenue 32, Barbour by Mail, Bilka, Boden, Ghost, Hawes & Curtis, Henri Lloyd, Hugo Boss, John Smedley, L.K.Bennett, Mexx, Nicole Farhi, QVC, Superdry and Thomas Pink.

‘Fit’ is a matter of personal preference rather than mathematics. According to Mintel, different sizing standards among brands and retailers make online clothes shopping a challenge for six in ten shoppers, when they are trying to buy clothes that meet their fit preferences.

On a retailer’s site, Fits.me displays a real photograph that shows exactly how the garment the shopper is looking at will fit their body size and shape, simply by asking that shopper for a few common measurements.

The Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room solution is the only fit technology to provide shoppers with a photo-accurate visualisation of fit, delivering the in-store fitting room experience online. Fit Advisor, a complementary solution to the Fits.me Virtual Fitting Room, provides fit information and recommendations without photography.
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Eleanor Armitage
Hotwire PR
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